Climate of Uncertainty

Natural cycles being what they are, there’s bound to be another mini-Ice Age (of the Maunder Minimum-type) eventually, and quite possibly soon. The implications for climate science, climate politics, and much beyond, are huge. Clean data on systemic effects are not accessible within history. That means all vulgar attempts to read out the effects of anthropic interventions from the historical record are doomed to fail, until perfect understanding of confounding rhythms are fully understood — basically, indefinitely. (Throw in chaos theory and other sources of epistemological pessimism here.) No one seriously thinks that a globally-coordinated ‘precautionary’ policy stance viz anthropogenic warming is constructible during a mini-Ice Age (do they?).

The consequence: Climate politics could — in reality — be a fairly remote science fiction scenario. By the time its opportunity comes around, far more will have been decided than is being allowed for.


4 thoughts on “Climate of Uncertainty

  1. yeah well and if we look at the miserable excuses for international banking regulation after the most recent crash we can see that such an opportunity would be wasted in the midst of relatively stable conditions let along when the shit is hitting the fan.
    how much cyber infrastructure is likely to survive even the lead into such ‘disruptions’ for any tech alternatives to more traditional governance?

  2. Despite the lack of clean data, the last mini-Ice Age did coincide neatly with the rise of absolutism and a dramatic decrease in human population. Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century provides vulgar commentary into a fascinating period of conflict and icicles.

  3. Beckett once said of William Burroughs: “Our despair is total! Total! We can’t even talk to each other. That’s what I felt in Naked Lunch and why I like it.”

    WB said: I dislike feeling. I don’t remember a thing. If you have to use will power, you’re not free, because there is no such thing as will power.”

    The climate change issue is like that: if you have to believe in it, you’re lost, because there is no such thing as climate change. It comes down to on thing: Our despair is total, so why talk about climate change? No one’s listening anyway. We can’t hear each other anyway for the noise of our voices.

    • But then again maybe despair is not the word, too Beckettian: maybe what we need is a little comic anhedonic nihilism – say, a Gilbert and Sullivan comedy with musical “Rhapsody to Oblivion!” interspersed with splices from old Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby and Bob Hope travel films… a comic respite from the global menagerie!

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